We are here for Jemima. When we first discussed exploring China this year for our family trip, this was her one bucket list requirement. So who am I to stand in the way of a 13 year olds bucket list, particularly as our one mantra has been for the kids to not only discover the world around them, but truly appreciate it’s differences.
Chengdu 成都 – Is the relaxation capital of China, and is considered to be one of the most laid-back cities in China. After 16 hours by overnight train from Xian and with only one full day here, we decided to make the most of our stay. Chengdu has more bars, restaurants, majong dens, and tea houses per square kilometre than any other Chinese city. Chengdu was one of my favorite cities in China
Our main part of the day was spent at the panda research base. This is the only place in China that pandas are still found and this base is aiming to increase its bred in captivity capacity, so that they are no longer an endangered species. I did have my doubts about visiting here and was hoping it wouldn’t turn out to be a zoo, but all fears were put to rest on seeing the area is basically a large bamboo forest with huge enclosures for all the bears.
We got here super early in the morning to both beat the heat and the crowds. Thank goodness we did as it turned out to be another 40°C day, with alarming smog levels and horrific crowds of people queuing everywhere as we left just before lunch.
The afternoon was spent exploring town and finally heading to the night markets for people watching and dinner. We had the most amazing dish – Beggars chicken, a while chicken warppaed in newspaper and bamboo and roasted over hot coals.
I did a tea tasting and yes the sales tactics won me over and I bought enough tea for a year!